Hangin’ with the Jonoses

The Jonoses–made up of my hubby’s long-time friend Jay, my long-time friend Christine, and now their son JJ–took us on quite THE busiest but funnest time of our lives during our short visit to NJ back in May.

Our friendships with Jay and Christine date back to our young adult lives…our early 20’s–quite historic now if you think about it. They actually ended up together after our wedding, to which Terrence and I endlessly credit ourselves to such a successful hookup. Jay was one of the Groom’s Men and Christine was my Maid of Honor.

The rest, as they say, is history.

Fast forward to the present, what with all the highs and lows of friendships with a history, I am SUPER glad our friendships with this couple have remained in tact. They are godparents to our son and we to theirs, and I am even more glad our boys can grow up–despite the distance–knowing that their friendship has a chance of an even longer history than that of their parents.

While in Jersey, we stayed with the Jonoses for a short two days and three nights at the Jonos family home in Trenton, during which time the big boys bonded over fixing a car–like always, us mommies chatted away, like always, and the little ones happily played and made a mess of all the toys around them, like always. All of this done in between doing some serious food-tripping in Philly, crazy bonding and play time at Liberty State Park, and while being a bunch of tourists in Times Square.

Terrence was able to capture some precious moments during all of this–a time well spent with people whom we not only consider our friends…

Because this, right here, is family.

Us and the Jonoses = Family

Here are some snap shots of our time with the Jonoses…

Food Tripping in Philadelphia

Christine and I with the boys, in front of Geno’s…

…and Pat’s!

The endless selection of yummy cheese steak sandwich goodness at Pat’s.

Yeah…I’d go back to Philly JUST for this–a Pat’s cheese steak sandwich!

The boys hanging out at Geno’s Steaks. We have well eaten our Pat’s cheese steaks by this time, but the mommies still managed to eat and try Geno’s. Pat’s Steaks hands down wins the epic battle of which one is the yummier cheese steak!

Philadelphia’s Chinatown. We are on a mission to find a sweet house and get some TAHO.

Terrence and I in Philly’s Chinatown. We have been here as a couple. I never imagined we’ll be back here with Miggz in tow.

Mission accomplished!! Jay hangs out in front of the sweet house while Christine and I get tubs full of TAHO…a warm dessert made up of soy milk, sweet syrup and tiny taro balls (sago).

I find another sweet house in Philly’s Chinatown. This time I pick up some egg custards. Yumm!!

The boys are obviously bored!!

More of us in Philly’s Chinatown.

A few sites we saw in Philly…

The Liberty Bell

I didn’t realize the Liberty Bell was enclosed. I’ve always pictured it just being out in the open. Perhaps from the movie, National Treasure?

The Next Day at Liberty State Park (Jersey City)

Terrence and I

Miggz and I in the Jonoses’ Acura…our everywhere vehicle!

The Statue of Liberty in the background…

Terrence captures this precious photo of the boys.

Miggz and I pause for a juice break.

Thou shalt not come between a little man and his juice box!

Terrence, Miggz and I

Terrence Captures More Precious Photos, this time of Christine and I and the boys…

That is the World Trade Center Freedom Tower being constructed on the far right.

And Then There’s Times Square (NYC)…

Tired Miggz! It was two long days. Two long but GREAT days. Great days indeed.

What memorable trips do you most remember doing with your friends? Did they include kids?

What trips are you looking forward to doing with your friends??

Do share!!

xoxo,

Kaye

All Photos by Terrence G. Photography | Copyright 2012 | All Rights Reserved

Waking Up (with a Toddler) in Vegas

I’ve been meaning to blog about our recent Vegas trip. It’s a milestone trip in many ways. My Mom–Miguel’s Gramma–turned 55; it must have been my fourth or fifth ever visit to Vegas (it never gets tiring); and it’s a significant trip for Miggz.

Our little man has been VERY busy traveling it up, with Nevada being his 10th visited state. Not bad for being only almost 15-months old. I’ve lost track of the places we’ve taken Miggz to. If it weren’t for our archived photos, I probably would not be able to figure this out. Let me see, there was New Jersey (the state where he was born, of course), Connecticut (visiting family at almost six months old), New York (Museum of Natural History, NYC – six months old, and the annual Auto Show at eight months old), New Hampshire (snowboarding trip in Vermont – seven months old), Illinois (Jacob family reunion in Chicago – nine months old), Florida (mini vacation in Sarasota and Orlando – 10 months old), Michigan (Mendinueto family reunion – 11 months old), Arizona (our family’s big cross-country move – right before he turned one), California (San Diego wedding anniversary trip – 14 months old), and Nevada (Las Vegas @ almost 15 months old). Whew. I don’t know of a baby who’s travelled more than him. He must be tired from all these travels (so are his parents), but not bad tired. More like happy tired.

So Las Vegas…being in it with a toddler is definitely a different story from my past visits sans baby. You see everything in a whole different light (literally). The drive, the rest stops, the casinos, the shops, the food, The Strip. All become an endless blur of eye candy intermingled with lots of bathroom stops and diaper changes. I say eye candy because all we were really able to enjoy doing while we were in Vegas was sightsee. As much as we’d have wanted to gamble a tad longer, or see some shows, or stay up and out much later, it was great seeing Miguel’s reaction to the lights on The Strip from his car seat, his excitement upon seeing the canals at The Venetian, his even greater joy at eyeing the magnificent fountain at the Palazzo (Miggz has a thing for fountains). If only Vegas were a child’s playground.

But alas, it isn’t a child’s playground. It’s where adults come to play. So as much as Miguel had his fun, I take back what I said about Vegas never being so tiring. It was this time around, and I’ll probably reconsider taking Miguel again here until his 21st birthday. By then he’ll really see what Vegas is all about. But then again, he probably won’t take us, his parents, to that 21st birthday trip, so this one was still a trip well spent 🙂

Miggz wants him some gelato (The Venetian, Las Vegas)

Awe-struck by the great waterfall fountain (The Palazzo, Las Vegas)

Trying on a track suit from the Ferrari Store (Wynn, Las Vegas)

Family picture in front of the Esplanade (Wynn, Las Vegas)

There are more photos, of course. They will hopefully be on Facebook by next week.

We Missed the Sun in San Diego

It was just last Thursday when we set off for San Diego to celebrate our fourth wedding anniversary. We got back on Sunday night, and it feels like we JUST got back. This week definitely flew by quickly. Even though I’ve already done (and folded) the laundry from our vacation–an indication of having a lot of time on my hands–I am still left wondering where the past couple of days went.

So San Diego…where to begin. It’s one of those cities I’ve always wanted to go to, though I didn’t initially consider going there for our anniversary because I couldn’t find any great hotel deals. I initially looked into revisiting Sedona (only a two-hour drive) or possibly going somewhere in the Caribbean (I’ve been having the travel itch since we got our passports). In the end I eventually found a reasonable-priced hotel in San Diego, and just booked our trip within days of our anniv.

San Diego is a six-hour drive from us. I kept hearing only four hours from everybody, but even the GPS and Google maps estimated slightly over six hours. And if you’re a mom, especially a New Mamma, you know that estimates are really just that. Add in the rest stops for food, diaper changes, and photo ops, and the six hours can easily turn to eight. Thankfully, it didn’t in our case.

I made sure I prepared enough things to keep Miggz entertained (or asleep) during the drive. I brought along two of his Matchbox cars, two little Tonka trucks (he picked out which two specific trucks to bring), and two stuffed toys–the puppies Beagle and Benjamin–which he loves to cuddle and easily falls asleep with during car rides, as we’ve discovered. I also packed his favorite snacks, or mum-mums (Gerber’s Strawberry-Apple and Banana Puffs, as well as some of their Mild Cheddar munchies). I also brought along one of his baby pillows. It’s amazing how someone so little can need so many items on a road trip. All of them came in handy during the ride, and I was able to rotate the cars, trucks, and puppies maybe three or four times with Miggz (he’s very easily entertained) before we resorted to some iPhone baby apps, making silly sounds, and sawsaw-suka.

The trip to San Diego was interesting. I wish Miggz saw all the varied grades of terrain that we passed: deserts, farms, rocky mountainsides, even sand dunes. He mostly slept, snacked, and peed. It was also really sunny for the most part, except when we finally got to the San Diego area: it was so foggy.

Our next couple of days in San Diego didn’t get better weather-wise. The sun hardly peeked, and the clouds overhead threatened drizzling every so often. Thankfully it mostly stayed dry until our last day.

We made the most out of our trip. We went to Balboa Park (easily one of my new favorite places to be in…will definitely go back once Miggz is able to enjoy and appreciate the museums), Coronado Island, and Seaport Village. We wanted to stop by the beach too, but it was cold. We didn’t do any of the major San Diego attractions (the Zoo, Legoland, SeaWorld) for the same reason we didn’t go into the museums. We mostly really just wanted to sightsee and relax, with the intention of coming back when Miggz is old enough to ride in theme park rides and watch Shamu. Miggz did get to ride the historic carousel in Seaport Village, and he got to enjoy a nice Gondola ride with me and Te on our anniversary night.

Why take Miggz on an anniversary trip, you ask? Simple. It would just not be complete without him.

Here are a few of my favorite shots from our trip:

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